The E. Robert Williams Inn of Court’s holiday dinner featured the presentation of the John J. Schickel Professionalism Award to attorney Alan M. Gordon.
Gordon is a Jacksonville district mediator and past president of the Williams Inn of Court. He was roasted by former recipient Michael O’Rourke.
Gordon said it was a “distinct honor to receive the award and to work each day with attorneys and their clients toward settlement of complex workers’ compensation cases.”
He has conducted more than 6,000 mediations during the past 13 years. Gordon has an A-V Rating with Martindale Hubbell and was instrumental in coordinating and organizing the Inn-sponsored trip to England and Ireland in 2013.
He is an author and frequent speaker on mediator ethics and other issues.
He also has served as an adjunct professor of legal studies at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
The Schickel award is the highest honor the Inn bestows on its members. In addition to O’Rourke, previous honorees were attorneys Douglas Myers Jr. and Ben Samuels.
Daily Record publisher Jim Bailey served as guest speaker at the event held at Epping Forest Yacht Club.
Inn President Judge Ray Holley thanked Bailey and the newspaper for publishing stories about endeavors to improve the community and legal profession, as well as volunteer and other charitable efforts.
Bailey expressed his appreciation for the group’s efforts to improve the legal profession by mentoring law students and new attorneys to become great lawyers and great citizens.
He emphasized the need for community service with a quote from Dr. Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Bailey spoke briefly on the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice established by the state Supreme Court and the recent arguments before the court regarding the increase of Florida Bar dues to help fund legal services for people who cannot afford representation.
Bailey said the problems are not just “attorney issues,” but issues to be addressed by business interests and the community as a whole.
A special presentation was made to Executive Director Carla Montgomery of the Child Cancer Fund by President-elect attorney Michael Rudolph recognizing the fund as the inn’s sponsored charity for the 2014-15 term.
The E. Robert Williams Inn of Court includes attorneys, judges, mediators and law students who are significantly involved in its mission, which is to promote professionalism and civility and provide tutelage and mentoring among members while playing an active part in North Florida’s legal community.